If you spent time on the roads in 2020, you likely noticed that they were a bit more open than usual. With more people working at home, traffic levels across the United States significantly dropped for large portions of the year.
Despite that, the number of traffic fatalities dramatically increased. They went up by 24%, exceeding 42,000 deaths, and created the largest increase that has happened in almost 100 years. How could this have happened if people drove far fewer miles and spent fewer hours on the road?
Did speed play a role in the number of car accident deaths?
One potential issue that experts have noted is the role of speed. Most people want to get to their destination as fast as they can. With packed roads, they’re forced to slow down even when they don’t want to. With empty roads, they can increase their speed notably as they try to make up time.
The major problem with this is that increases in speed almost always correlate with increases in fatalities. That doesn’t mean there are always more accidents or that you’re more likely to crash. It’s just that the accidents that do happen are much worse.
Think of it this way: If there are five accidents at 25 miles per hour, they may result in zero fatalities. If speed increases to 55 miles per hour, there may only be one crash due to lower traffic levels, but it’s vastly more likely someone will pass away. That phenomenon may have played out repeatedly all year long.
Have you gotten injured in a wreck?
If you got injured in a car accident or lost a loved one, you need to know how to seek financial compensation from the driver who caused that crash.